Client + Marketer + Designer = 3’s a crowd?

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How a Marketer can add value to the design process

Most businesses need design to be able to market their products and services. Literature, websites, adverts, stationery etc all require the services of a design professional and for most who don’t have the luxury of employing an in-house designer, this is often outsourced.

Professional design agencies or freelance designers do an amazing job of creating marketing materials for businesses. Many companies choose to work directly with designers providing their own brief and direction and often their own copy and this is fine but could they be failing to maximise the talent of their design team by not having the input of a marketing specialist?

‘Why have the extra expense?’ you might say, ‘we know our business inside out, what can a marketer tell us that we don’t know?’. Both valid points but I would like to argue that a professional marketer can add tremendous value to the design process and here is why:

1. A marketer acts as the CENTRAL POINT OF CONTACT between client and designer. They take your business knowledge, company information and objectives for the project and they transform this into a proper brief. It means you don’t have to come up with the ideas and the designer gets clear direction from someone who knows what makes an effective piece of marketing collateral.

2. A marketer is OBJECTIVE. You may be too close to your business and therefore too subjective. What may seem like a great selling point to you may not actually be perceived as a benefit at all by your customers. A marketer will recognise your strengths and create competitive advantage that can be communicated effectively through design.

3. A marketer SAVES YOU TIME. Their involvement means you don’t have to get bogged down with the nitty gritty of the project. They deal directly with the designer and this might mean that the first draft you see may have gone through several revisions before it even gets to you. The designer and marketer work as a team to fine tune things and get it as close to spot on as possible before you even get involved. They do the project management, the chasing, the proofing and the editing. They also drive it forward, ensuring that it gets done – so many projects drag on just because the client does not have sufficient time to give it their full attention.

4. A good marketer will also offer COPY WRITING – a specialist skill that many organisations do not have in house. They will take your ideas and company information and create engaging sales copy that is specifically designed to elicit a desired response from your target audience.

5. A marketer sees the BIGGER PICTURE. They can advise on strategy, on how the design piece should be used, how it fits into your overall marketing mix and how it adds value to your brand. They can also recommend the most appropriate design solution for what you want to achieve.

In short, a marketer will maximise the investment that you are making in the design element of the process. Don’t throw good money after bad by spending money on great design only to let the piece down with poor copy, unclear messages and failure to meet your objectives.

Plus, as if all this weren’t enough, marketing people are really cool (but perhaps I would say that!).

(BTW if you are looking for a great designer as well as a great marketer *ahem* I would really recommend ego)

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